|Photos by Ulysses Ang|
For starters, the Accent’s head-turning “Fluidic Sculpture” looks is still there. And graceful certainly comes to mind when you describe it. The Accent is sleek, dynamic, and futuristic. Designers gave the Accent a compact yet athletic face that has the trademark hexagonal grille and swept back headlights. There are hardly any hard edges on the Accent save for the side crease that runs the entire length of the side making it look organic in a refreshing sort of way.
However, priced at P 100,000 less than AT, plenty of content removal was necessary to keep the Accent CRDi MT at P768,000. And this begins outside, where you can’t help but notice how lacking this MT model is with the unpainted black plastic where the fog lamps are supposed to be, the plain side mirrors where they’re supposed to have LED repeaters, and even the 14-inch, yes 14-inch steel wheels (with hub caps) instead of the spiffy 16-inch alloys.
Inside, the Accent’s Y-shaped dash is clean, pleasing to the eye, and functional. The cabin is quite spacious with plenty of leg and headroom. It’s highly stylized too giving that sporty look with the all-black theme and trim accents. The cloth seats are also very comfortable with just enough side bolstering for support. Like the AT model, there are plenty of hard plastics inside the Accent but the overall fit and finish remain great. And at least, the interior contains most of the toys found in the AT model save for the leather steering wheel and the front passenger airbag.
Irritatingly, the Accent CRDi MT comes to the party equipped with the very same lackluster JVC audio system that I found so horrid with the AT version. It’s got small, fiddly buttons and a microscopic display. Thankfully, it does incorporate a Bluetooth hands-free system and can be operated using the steering wheel controls which Hyundai has retained for the Accent CRDi MT. Yipee.
Aside from the removal of more luxury-oriented features, the Accent CRDi MT still has an impressive list of standard features. It comes with an on-board computer, seat height adjustment, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and even ISOFIX child seat anchors. It even comes with a 60/40 split-folding rear bench to accommodate large cargo such as a set of 18-inch rims (in boxes, if I may add).
Sharing the same engine with the AT variant, the Accent CRDi MT has a peak power of 128 horsepower and 260 Nm of torque. Like the AT, it gives a “pressed-to-your-seat” acceleration rush, perhaps even more so because you command the shifting yourself. The clutch is light and engages on the high side, but is fairly easy to master. Not once did I embarrassingly suffer from a dropped clutch stall. You can’t say the same thing with the 6-speed manual though which suffers from vague engagement, making me shift into a wrong gear more than once. Still, you can’t ignore 14.49 km/L in the city and an insane 32.35 km/L on the highway (comparatively, the CRDi AT does 13.33 km/L city and 29.41 km/L on the highway) when the shift light indicator’s followed religiously.
Despite having taller and narrower tires (175/70R14 vs 195/50R16 for the AT), the Accent is responsive, light, and stable on the road. More steering feedback is preferred, especially for higher speeds, but on the city, it’s more than good enough. On the handling/comfort equation, the Accent prefers to be more on comfort with a plush experience on our punishing pockmarked roads. The steering even feels vaguer than the AT due to the taller, economy tires though. There’s also greater degrees of understeer and body roll when going through tighter bends. Sadly, the tiny rear glass robs the Accent of some usable rear visibility. And it’s hampered even further than the AT because this MT doesn’t come with rear parking sensors. Despite the 4,115 mm overall length, the Accent is a bitch to park.
After all said and done though, even if Hyundai did remove some toys to keep the Accent CRDi MT cost down, it’s still an attractive option for those on the hunt for a new first car. Plus, it’s a stick shift, so all the better. And remember, it still has that wonderful diesel engine under that hood. However, if I were to place my own hard-earned money down, I’d personally have helped myself with the Accent CRDi AT and all the extra trimmings that go with it. I mean, P 100,000 isn’t much money and a set of aftermarket 16-inch alloys and tires plus the fog lamp would have cost you close to a 100-grand already.
2013 Hyundai Accent CRDi
|Ownership||Accent CRDi M/T|
|Body Type||5-door Hatchback|
|Engine / Drive||F/F|
|Under the Hood|
|Layout / # of Cylinders||Inline 4|
|BHP @ rpm||128 @ 4,000|
|Nm @ rpm||260 @ 1,900-2,750|
|Fuel / Min. Octane||Diesel|
|Dimensions and Weights|
|Curb Weight (kg)||1,160|
|Suspension and Tires|
|Front Suspension||Independent, MacPherson Strut|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam Axle|
|Front Brakes||Vented Disc|
|Wheels||Steel with Cover|
|Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)||Yes|
|Traction / Stability Control||No|
|Steering Wheel Adjustment||Tilt|
|Steering Wheel Material||Urethane|
|Folding Rear Seat||Yes, 60/40|
|Power Door Locks||Yes|
|No. of Speakers||4|
|Steering Wheel Controls||Yes|